This is a great thread! Tons of great ideas.
Last year was the first year for our keeper auction league (5x5 roto), and we all went way overboard at the start. I spent $50 on Vlad, $47 on Arod, and $34 on Beltran in the first half hour, so I spent the next 3 hours doing nothing but slotting all the players into every team's spreadsheet (since I was auctioneer and commish, I got to keep it all organized:). I ended up with 8 players to get and $8 left at the end and grabbed Lidle (uggh), German (uggh), Astacio (ugghh), Grieve (uggghhh), Sanchez, Casey, Ausmus, and Teixeira (the pride of my draft, I get to keep him for $3 this year.
). It was so ugly at the end, since it was all our first auction draft, it took us almost 9 hours, and it was Oscar night, so everyone wanted to get going to watch the show. They were all just tossing players out there and logging off as soon as we got the last one (online auction in IRC). I was wiped out afterwards.
This year I'll definitely be exercising more patience at the beginning, and not getting sucked into early bidding wars. I think we all learned a lot, and the 4 new owners joining the league (expanding from 12 teams to 16) should have fun with the learning curve.